Home » Anil Deshmukh resigns as Maharashtra Home Minister after Bombay HC orders CBI probe

Anil Deshmukh resigns as Maharashtra Home Minister after Bombay HC orders CBI probe

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 3 minutes read

IT Correspondent
Mumbai, April 5:
Anil Deshmukh has tendered his resignation as the Maharashtra Home Minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, the party announced on Monday.

The development came shortly after the Bombay High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to start a preliminary inquiry within 15 days into allegations of corruption and misconduct levelled by former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh against him.

Deshmukh belongs to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), an ally of the Shiv Sena and the Congress in Maharashtra. While speaking to reporters, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “Deshmukh informed NCP chief Sharad Pawar that it won’t be appropriate to remain in the post as CBI will be probing the charges against him. Deshmukh submitted his resignation letter to CM Thackeray, Malik added.

Earlier in the day the Bombay High Court directed CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into corruption allegations and file an FIR against Deshmukh if required. The court ordered the CBI inquiry in response to a petition filed by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who had alleged that Deshmukh had asked a junior level police officer to collect Rs 100 crore per month from bars, hukka parlours and other establishments in Mumbai.

Singh who was transferred out from Mumbai police commissionerate and posted as Director General, Home Guards on March 17,2021, had written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on March 20, bringing to his notice above developments. Subsequently he filed the writ petition in the Bombay High Court demanding the CBI inquiry in the matter.

On Monday the bench ordered the Director of CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry in accordance with law and conclude it within 15 days. Once the preliminary inquiry is complete, the CBI can proceed in accordance with law, ordered the bench.

However, since the allegations are already being probed by a high-level committee headed by a former judge of the Bombay High court, as per directions of the Maharashtra government, the court said that CBI need not immediately register an FIR in the case.

Last month, Singh moved the HC seeking an “immediate and unbiased” probe against Deshmukh, who he claimed asked police officer Sachin Vaze (arrested by NIA in Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case) to collect Rs.100 crore from bars and restaurants.

Singh had initially approached the Supreme Court with his plea. However the Supreme Court had observed that although the allegations and counter-allegations between Singh and Deshmukh were serious, the case should be heard by the High Court first. Subsequently, Singh withdrew the plea before the Supreme Court and moved the High Court.

The former top cop had mentioned in his plea that Deshmukh used to frequently interfere with police investigations and even held meetings at his residence with police officers. In these meetings, Deshmukh instructed the officers to collect Rs.100 crore per month from various establishments.

Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said he is happy that Deshmukh has quit, adding there will be many “shocking revelations” in the CBI probe.

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